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[116] showing laborious and careful research into the original and unpublished sources of French history. I found him this evening, with two or three friends, in an uncommonly pretty and well-arranged parlor, sitting in his arm-chair, with a sort of comforter of silk thrown about the lower part of his person. His infirmities were plainly upon him, but there was nothing or very little that was painful in their character. He talked with great distinctness of opinion and phrase upon a wide variety of subjects; such as the different races of men in the early ages of the world, the impossibility of two races becoming mixed on equal terms, the state of Canada at this moment, Cooper's novels, etc. He says he is, though entirely liberal in his politics, less inclined to republican, or democratic, institutions than he used to be, because he thinks the people are, from the tendencies of their nature, less disposed to choose the most elevated minds for the most important places, or to intrust their affairs generally to the wisest and most disinterested hands.

At ten o'clock I left him,—for his visitors do not stay late, on account of his health,—and went to the Duchess de Broglie's. I went to see her in the forenoon, a couple of days ago, when she first returned from Broglie; and she then told me that she intends to receive le monde every Wednesday night, but that her friends would find her, besides, on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays. So I went this evening,—Friday,—and found about a dozen persons there: Eynard, Rossi, Lebrun, etc. It was extremely agreeable, and I stayed till the tea-table was brought in at eleven o'clock. So much for French hours! There was an extremely animated talk for some time about Arnauld, Pascal, and the writers of Port-Royal generally; and if it had continued, I dare say I should have stayed later.

December 23.—. . . . I left a dinner at Colonel Thorne's somewhat early, to go to Lamartine's, who, being in rather feeble health, does not like to receive late. He is a man of fortune, and lives as such; besides which, he is eminently the fashionable intellectual man of his time in Paris.

He has just been elected to the Chamber of Deputies from three different places, a distinction which has happened to no other; and in the Chamber he has a little party of his own, about fifteen or twenty in number, who generally support the Ministry, but are understood to vote independently, and to desire nothing from the government; so that, in the present balanced state of parties, he has a good deal of political power in his hands. As a poet, he is, of course, the first and most fashionable, and he has always round him a considerable


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